How many times should a dog eat a day?

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We all strive to ensure that our dog receives the best food possible. We care about choosing a high quality feed adapted to your needs, and we give you the recommended ration daily depending on your activity level and body weight.

But, in how many doses should we distribute this ration to ensure its correct diet? Are you giving your dog the number of feedings it needs? Let’s see what are the most recommended portions!

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Index of contents

  • 1 How many times a day should I feed my dog?
  • 2 Daily shots according to age
    • 2.1 Puppies
    • 2.2 Adult Dogs
    • 2.3 Senior Dogs
  • 3 Daily shots according to size
  • 4 Daily shots according to other factors
    • 4.1 Neutered dogs
    • 4.2 Bitches gestating
    • 4.3 Dogs with digestive sensitivity
    • 4.4 Dogs with anxiety

How many times a day should I feed my dog?

Once we know the amount of feed that our pet should eat per day, we must define how many feedings we should distribute this ration.

It is important that once we determine the number of feedings per day, let’s try that these are always at the same time, since dogs are routine animals, and their schedules must be as constant as possible (meals, walks, grooming, etc.)

There is no general formula that works for all cases, but the number of times a dog must be fed per day depends on various factors, which will be specific to each animal.

For this reason, we will explain the different factors that influence, so that you can define which feeding routine is best suited to the needs of your particular pet.

dog-adult-with-dog-puppy

Daily shots according to age

Age is one of the factors that most influences when defining the number of daily feedings a dog needs.

Puppies

Puppies have a small and still immature digestive system, which is why they need to take many small servings throughout the day.

During lactation, puppies initially eat every 2-3 hours, and these feeds are distanced as the weeks go by.

At weaning time (around 8 weeks of age), the cubs are already able to spend the night without eating and it is sufficient to distribute your daily ration in 4 doses. If they are small puppies, they may need some additional feeding.

From 3 months, once the weaning stage has finished and the puppy already consumes dry feed without problems, we can reduce the number of feedings to 3 a day.

When they are 6 months old, their digestive system is more mature and this allows us to start taking 2 doses a day, although if we prefer to keep three doses a day until they are adults, it is not a problem either.

Adult Dogs

Generally speaking, a dog is considered to enter adulthood when it reaches one year of age (although it varies slightly depending on size).

An adult dog simply eats once or twice a day, and with this number of servings your nutritional needs are covered.

Choosing between feeding him once or twice a day will depend on our time availability, and also on individual factors that we will see later and that may determine that it is necessary to increase the number of feedings per day.

Senior Dogs

When our dog reaches its stage of maturity (between 8-11 years depending on its size), the motility of its intestine is reduced and the digestions begin to be “heavier”.

It is for this reason that it is convenient to increase the number of meals a day when the dog reaches its senior age (2-3 feedings a day).

If we increase the number of daily feedings, the amount of feed that he ingests with each meal is less and the digestions will be easier.

chihuahua-with-his-puppy-while-eating

Daily shots according to size

It is essential to take into account the size of the dog when defining the number of times it should eat a day.

Large breeds are at increased risk of pathology stomach dilation-torsion.

To prevent this alteration, we must take into account the following precautions when feeding a large breed dog:

  • Avoid overloading the stomach: The food ration should be distributed in a minimum of 2 feedings a day and we must avoid that our large breed dog “gets soggy” by drinking water.
  • Avoid physical exercise after eating or if you have drunk a significant amount of water: You should not go out for a walk or play after you have finished eating.

In small or medium breeds, the predisposition or risk of suffering this pathology is much lower, but it is also advisable to follow these guidelines to avoid digestive problems.

pregnant-dog

Daily shots according to other factors

In addition to the general factors that we have already explained, we must take into account the individual characteristics of each dog to decide how many times our dog should eat a day.

Neutered dogs

When we sterilize or neute our dog, there can be a spontaneous increase in his appetite.

That is why, to avoid the anxiety that can cause the feeling of hunger, it is advisable to change your diet to a more satiating feed (light type), and increase the number of daily intakes (a minimum of 2-3 intakes per day). ).

  • Castration Symptoms in Dogs

Bitches gestating

As the pregnancy of a dog progresses, the cubs take away space from the mother’s stomach. This makes our bitch cannot eat large amounts of food at once You will need to eat several small meals a day.

Remember that in the last weeks of gestation, the nutritional demands of pregnant bitches increase dramatically, so we must change their diet to a more energetic feed with higher calcium levels (feed for puppies or for pregnant females).

Dogs with digestive sensitivity

There are dogs that have a greater digestive sensitivity and that, in addition to being able to need special diets of greater digestibility, it is convenient to distribute their daily ration in a greater number of feedings (about 3 f
eedings a day).

With a greater number of feedings per day, we will reduce the amount of feed that our dog ingests with each meal and digestion will be easier.

Likewise, by increasing the number of feedings per day, we reduce the time in which the stomach is empty (there are dogs that if they spend many hours without eating have gastric problems that can lead to vomiting).

Dogs with anxiety

In dogs with general anxiety problems, very active, bored or destructive, one of the factors that must be modified is the way of feeding.

In this type of dog it is recommended to increase the number of daily feedings to the maximum possible (up to 4 feedings per day), and you can even choose to introduce your ration in dispensing toys of the type “KONG”, so that feeding is a form of distraction .

As you can see there is no fixed formula that defines how many times a dog should eat a day, but it will depend on the needs of each individual dog.

What is explained here are general recommendations that can help you on the subject, but remember that if you have any questions, you should consult the vet.